Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has told South Africans that public debate on the new variant of the coronavirus and vaccines should not distract them from doing the basics to prevent the spread of the virus. These are wearing a mask, sanitising hands, and maintaining social distance.
The vaccine is not a silver bullet in stopping the spread of #COVID19. Non-pharmaceutical interventions like wearing masks and practicing social distancing is still our best weapon to slow down transmission. #VaccineStrategy pic.twitter.com/WqALg2KkMK
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) December 31, 2020
In the past week, there has been an increase in the number of health care workers getting infected with the virus.
Dr Mkhize was speaking at the King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban where he lit a candle for those who have succumbed to COVID-19.
He says KwaZulu-Natal is bearing the brunt of the pandemic, with 687 new infections among healthcare workers.
“Every time a health care worker is infected with COVID-19, we lose at least ten days of labour so desperately needed at this time. We may lose these precious resources for much longer if they all become ill and need to be treated and isolated for longer. And in some instances when someone has come back from isolation, the next thing that happens is they get exposed to another person who is now positive and they have to go back to isolation.”
2020 a tough year for frontline healthcare workers:
Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has paid tribute to all frontline workers in the fight against the pandemic, describing them as true patriots.
“There are those who are in the police service, there are those in Home Affairs and other departments. Those who have been working in the Department of Social Development ensuring that our people are safe and protected from hunger during the time of difficulties.”
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